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Grateful Dead Live at Meadowlands Arena on 1988-03-31


Topics Live concert


Hell In A Bucket, Sugaree, Me & My Uncle-> Mexicali Blues, Brown Eyed Women, When I Paint My Masterpiece, Ramble On Rose, Let It Grow Scarlet Begonias-> Fire On The Mountain-> Scarlet Begonias, Samson & Delilah, Terrapin Station-> Drums-> Jam-> Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad-> I Need A Miracle-> Dear Mr. Fantasy-> Hey Jude-> All Along The Watchtower, E: Knockin' On Heaven's Door


Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Meadowlands Arena
Location East Rutherford, NJ

Source Soundboard

Notes

SBD; see flaw notes in info file; via unknown seeder to furthurnet

Reviews

Reviewer: East Coast Dave in WA - - June 22, 2010
Subject: High highs, low lows
The only show of the Meadowlands run I attended this tour. Nothing special until Brown-eyed Women, which kick starts a wave that carries them to a strong finish on the first set (especially Let it Grow). Second set has a great scarlet Fire (not necessarily history book material, but far better than "average"). Terrapin is quite enjoyable as well. GDTRFB is high-energy, and the Mr Fantasy/Hey Jude is only kept from excellence by Bob's very noticeable off-key singing and embarrassing vocal gymnastics. Nothing any self-respecting Donna era fan can't ignore, I suppose (Donna had her moments of excellence, of course). Overall a very good, almost great show. The high points definitely make it worth a listen.
Reviewer: AllnightVi - - November 28, 2009
Subject: My first Meadowlands show -- Rev. Allnight
I was 28 and selling cold sodas out of coolers to make gas and ticket money. Got turned on to my first hit of Ex. Great show. I was really just getting into following them. I would wish to follow them forever. They taught me that there was more to life than working in a factory for minimum wage and drinking your life away. They gave me hope in my darkest times. "One way or another, one way or another, one way or another, this darkness has got to give." God bless them and keep them all.
Reviewer: BIG_R - - November 28, 2009
Subject: 3-31-88
Good show. Decent matrix recording. Phil is nice and prominent in the mix.
Reviewer: sbrew - - April 2, 2009
Subject: a bit overrated
good show, vg on paper, good effort, probably wonderful to be there, but honestly not clicking as effortlessly as others did, often struggling a bit. Still good fun.
Reviewer: MightAsWell72 - - August 1, 2008
Subject: Hey Jude
This was my first show too - 16th bday present from my parents. Just wanted to point out that while the Hey Jude Finale segment became cliche pretty quickly, it was a peak-out moment here. No one seemed to know it had been broken out a few days before in Hampton and the place went bananas. Also remember Jerry's lilting solo in Sugaree blew me away, and still does - my favorite version post '77.
Reviewer: WoodWarbler - - July 15, 2008
Subject: Nothin' Like The First Time
I was 15 years old and this was my baptismal show. At the time, only some of the tunes were recognizable to me. I knew Fire On The Mountain & GDTRFB, but not Scarlet or Terrapin, yet. Some years later I got a hold of a good sounding cassette and realized that I was spoiled beyond belief. Aside from Bobby losing his voice by the end of Set 2, this show is a testament to the latter day zenith that the band reached by mid/late '89 (though they had great shows after that too). FXified Bucket opener, Scarlet > Fire, Terrapin, Space > GDTRFB, Fantasy > Jude are the highlights. Made this starry-eyed, dashiki-clad, fringed moccasin clad "Touch Of Gray" head a rabid believer at a very impressionable age. I still can't believe my parents didn't figure out how blotto stoned I was when they picked my buddy and I up in the freak circus that was the post-show Meadowlands parking lot!

4 stars, would be a five except for the Bobby vocal and, as someone else mentioned, chordal meltdown in Watchtower (which I recall thinking "if anyone has the authority to pull this one off, it's the good ol' Goddamned Grateful Dead!).

Word to the dude who trashed the creative writing in here....go get a good vibe, willya? It's fun to read someone so excited about a show. One does not "pour" through shows like they pour out a negative energy, but rather "pore" through material like....a rabid believer.
Reviewer: johnnycomelately - - May 3, 2006
Subject: good show
definitely 80s: what it lacks in soul it makes up for in 'show'; good energy but not the deep, tight stuff of earlier days. quite enjoyable though
Reviewer: dmilks - - April 17, 2006
Subject: 3-31-88
Mr. Byron does have a very solid point.

Bucket>Sugaree is Rock Solid!! As is pretty much the rest of the show. Great Energy.

in reference to smithjr's question regarding Watchtower: Weir started the Watchtower at half the speed (each of the three chords were being played twice as long as they shoulda been) the boys typically played it at. They never really recover from it. Kind of amounts to a weak closer. I am surprised they didn't do one more to make up for it. Oh well.
Reviewer: JByron - - February 25, 2006
Subject: 3/31/88
Jboy - are you employed, or are you sitting, Rupert Pupkin-like in your mother's basement, pouring over tapes so you can show us how much you know? Your reviews are over the top moronic.
Reviewer: jboyaquar - - November 16, 2005
Subject: The Kids are Alright
1st Set: We come out guns blazing for a motorcyclific "Hell." There's a skip at :11 through :16. Plenty of misc. sounds add to the vibrancy of the otherwise just solid performance. It's life-mate, thigh-shaking partner "Sugaree" follows. It's brisk, if relatively short (8:45) but flows quite nicely. A snappily chill but "Uncle"/"Mexicali" combo follows suit. The warm lines of "Brown Eyed" next fill the halls. "Masterpiece" is compact and continues the trend of this set going down quite nicely. "Ramble" is picked well, and maintains an enviable bounce that I wish was present in moe late 80s versions. "Let it Grow" is dominated by whereever Jerry's muse takes him. They cover a lot of ground.

2nd Set: Like the first set, the band's minds and hands are aligned as they easily glide through a cool "Scarlet." It isn't a long jam sequence; Jerry wah-wah's his way into "Fire." There's plenty of tracks on this coaster to please all fans. The good times abound with a grooverific "Samson." Everyone roars with approval at the first chord(al) chain from "Terrapin." The previous reviewer made a keen comment, remarking how focused the boys sound. I agree; however, it still can't top Long Beach. Jerry's voice is thin and the rush of energy never borders on cataclysmic. Anyways, the tune leads itself into silence and into "Drums." Both the 'D' and the 'S' are missing from this tape. What's left is a hip-hoppy Route 66 jangley of notes that cleanly assemble into the "GDTRFB" we all know and love. The boys are quite obviously enjoying themselves, the smiles quite evident on Jerry's face as he sings away. A bit of an awkward slow-down can't stop "Miracle" from fully asserting itself during the first chorus. Sloshily enjoyable and I dig hearing the crowd roar along. "Fantasy" is a drunken delight and Bobby has no problem getting goofy with Brent as they do the '88 obligatory "Hey Jude Reprise." The first minute of "Watchtower" is absolutely a novelty as they first present it as a rootsy, salt of the earth song. Think of how Tina Turner presents "Proud Mary" during her shows, and you get an idea of what they were going for. The rest of the song sounds different than norm too- more dance and jumpy instead of grungy and dirty.

The third Dylan tune of the evening, a sloppily beautiful "Knockin" closes out this very good gig from the Meadowlands.

3 1/2 stars
Reviewer: grendelschoice - - November 3, 2005
Subject: A Top 3 Scarlet>Fire
No joke, I mean this is one of THE GREAT Scarlet>Fires of all time. Meadowlands always gets overshadowed by MSG, like Jersey does New York, but the Dead played some of their craziest hot shows at Brendan Byrne (The stephen stills guest appearance shows in '83 come to mind) and this is one of them.

Not a long transition into Fire but not a note of what's there wasted. Crazy Jerry runs on Fire.

Very impressive stuff.
Reviewer: Liamfinnegan - - November 3, 2005
Subject: I really like this show
And I disagree with Stratocaster- and I usually agree with him- regarding the post drums sequence. I think it is fabulous, with Garcia's runs crisp in GDTRAFB and Brent's vocals all throughout- this was surprisingly good. One of those nice surprises to experience in the Archive- The archive which is my personal hotel california- I have not been able to leave
Reviewer: hyperboy - - September 16, 2005
Subject: Terrapin
Terrapin is focused...the mood is perfect. Not my favorite...hard to beat a 1977 Terrapin...but still very good. The show is a 4.5...sound a 4, a little too hot for me, not enough Phil. I enjoy the next night better.

Highlight: GDTRFB - never ceases to blow me away! This one is fast and just f-ing bad ass!
Reviewer: dire--wolf - - May 16, 2005
Subject: Terrapin of Terrapins
Best Terrapin. Super Tight. In addition, Scarlet Fire was smokin'. Bucket, check out the sound efects, Harley Davidsons. If this show doesn't make Dicks Picks then....I highly recommend downloading this show. The Dead at their finest.
Reviewer: stratocaster - - March 14, 2005
Subject: 03-31-1988
One of the best late Brent Mydland era Scarlet-Fires (87-90)...I still give the nod to 03-22-90...Samson and Delilah is fantastic and the Terrapin Station is focused and hot...post drums is no great shakes, but definitely give the first half of set 2 a listen, one of the best runs of music in 1988...
Reviewer: bloozman - - March 1, 2005
Subject: great mix of board and crowd
i was at this show and it brings back some great memories. i've gotten so into the mid 70s shows that i forgot how good they were, at times, during this period as well. the quality on this recording is particularly good. REALLY nice mix of the soundboard and the crowd. you get a great sense of the room. love it. download now for an example of a good night during this time period.
Reviewer: OldSchoolJersey - - January 12, 2005
Subject: Excellent Show
My first show...simply brilliant.
Reviewer: Aiko - - September 28, 2004
Subject: Intense
All of these Jersey shows were great. They played fantastic and the east coast energy was there. I was at this string and perhaps these were the set of shows that put me in that place.
Great sound quality and definitly worth a download. Getem all. Thank you Archive.org
Reviewer: Renliff - - September 2, 2004
Subject: Disneyland Tape
This was a big tape for me growing up. We used to go to disneyland with the Dead blaring through our headphones. This was the epitome of what we liked to listen to on those wacked out trips. I think this is a different source than we used to have. This version has more audience filtering through, which makes it better in my mind. But what this show special for us was not the well played 1st set, or the GREAT scarlet>Fire, nor was it the ever beautiful Terrapin. It was the way The Dead go into GDTRFB outta space. Just a neat thing to hear. I highly recommend downloading this show for anyone who is impressed by the setlist. The show measures up to expectations. Gotta give it a 4 though due to lack of drums>space.
On Watchtower Bob was in groove mode, that was why he says "Wait a minute, wait a minute!" and slowed it down to a nice pace.
Reviewer: smithjr - - August 26, 2004
Subject: Watchtower
What happened with Bobby in the beginning of Watchtower? Sounds like he wanted to stop.
Reviewer: telefreak - - August 12, 2004
Subject: ghettolands
this was my fifth dead show, and maybe the one where i really got IT. the first set was tight with the obligatory "just like new york city" cheer in ramblin' rose( iknow it's not really called that but i like it). the let it grow smokes! the second set though is remarkable. scarlet-fire is awesome as is the terrapin. well worth having this spring 88 gem.
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